1. Individual meat portions
If meat is only a component part of your meal and not the main event, chances are a full pack of chicken is too much and the remainder will get left in the fridge, unused, until it’s gone past its use-by date. A smarter way of shopping for these meals could be to buy an individual pack of pre-diced chicken breast so you only buy what you need and you’ll be using the whole pack in one go.
2. Frozen fruit and veg
How many times have you gone through the salad and veg box in your fridge, only to find shrivelled carrots, bendy broccoli and mouldy peppers lurking at the bottom? Or maybe for you its squishy satsumas, rotten bananas and wrinkly apples in your fruit bowl? A great way of getting your five-a-day with less waste is to buy frozen. A bag of frozen berries, for example, can be used straight from freezer to make a delicious dessert, and frozen mixed vegetables can be ready in minutes when preparing lunch or dinner. It’s a great way to bulk up on all the fruit & veg you’d need for you and your household without worrying about it all going off.
3. Buy potted herbs
If you regularly use a particular herb, such as basil, coriander or parsley, and you have a sunny windowsill, a potted plant will last longer than an individual bag of pre-cut fresh leaves. Make sure you take off the outer plastic sleeve and keep the plant watered when it begins to dry out to help it last longer - then just snip off as much as you need.
4. Loose veg
Do you tend to buy big bags of potatoes, sweet potatoes and other veg? It certainly can be the smarter choice if you’re feeding a large family, but if you end up routinely throwing any away, it’s worth buying produce loose instead. That way you can buy what you need, when you need it, saving you cash and making sure nothing ends up in the bin.
5. Plastic food storers
Plastic tubs and pots with ‘lockable’ lids, such as the Sainsbury’s Basics range of Klip Lock storers, are inexpensive to buy and help to keep opened foods fresher for longer. And, if you’ve cooked more of a dish than you can eat in one sitting, you can keep the rest in a lidded pot for reheating for another meal. They stack neatly to save space in the fridge, too, and also make handy lunchboxes. Simple but can save loads!
6. Grated cheese
If you buy a whole block of cheese when you only use the odd handful here and there, it can end up sitting in your fridge going hard around the edges. So to keep things simple and prevent it from going to waste it’s a good idea to use a resealable bag of ready-grated cheese. It’s easier to use up because it’s so quick and convenient, and remains fresh between uses.
7. Fresh soup in pots
Buying fresh soup in resealable lidded pots is a great way of using only what you need at a time and keeping the rest fresh for later. They’re quick and convenient as well as coming in lots of delicious flavours.
8. Zip-and-seal food bags
There are lots of half-used foods that can be kept fresher for longer by storing them in zip-and-seal food bags. Make sure you squeeze as much air as possible out of the bags before zipping them shut for maximum benefit.
9. Dried Pasta
If you’re in the supermarket and can’t decide which type of pasta or spaghetti to go for it can be a better bet to go for dried pasta, especially if you’re not planning to cook that day. It lasts for ages, and we hear Italians have given it the stamp of approval too!
10. Half a cucumber
Unused cucumber can spoil quickly in the salad drawer. If you usually have an end-piece to throw away, it can be less wasteful to buy half a cucumber at a time because you’re more likely to use all of it before it goes soggy or mouldy.
11. Half-size loaves
Did you know you can buy full-size bread in half-size loaves? These are a great buy if you don’t eat a lot of sliced bread or if you have a small family. They take up less space in the bread bin too.